New Albany NOW: Miles of Smiles Mobile Dental Clinic

It’s my pleasure to introduce the Miles
of Smiles Mobile Dental Clinic to the City of New Albany. It’s about two years in the planning, there’s
a great opportunity to provide care for people who can not afford it and don’t have access
to it. I would like to thank our sponsors, we had
a lot of sponsors that really stepped up to the plate to make this happen, particarlly
Graceland Baptist Church, Community Foundation, New Albany Housing Authority, it’s a great
partnership for a lot of people that have come together to make this happen. It means for Graceland, an opportunity to
go outside our campus, I think a lot of our people love that idea that we are not just
doing ministry and work on our campus, but how do we go out to our community as community
involvement. It’s new, it’s exciting, it’s different,
but the opportunities are just enormous in front of us. When the mayor approached here at the Housing
Authority to be a partner in this worthwhile project, I immediately thought of the impact
that it will have immediately on not just residents here at the New Albany Housing Authority,
but citywide and really in the counties now that we are taking in to be a partner in this
also. Also, want to give thanks to all the doctors
involved, a lot of professional medical help and a lot of physicians have stepped up to
make this happen. The type of people we will be reaching, generally
speaking, are making choices between dental care and food, dental care and medicine, and
it’s just tough, there is a lot of people in the world and especially in America that
need treatment and just can’t afford it and so this is just an effort to try to help
and try to make things better for them. We can do whatever the space and the providers
want to do. Generally speaking, it’s going to be some
examinations, x-rays, oral hygiene education, minor fillings and mostly extractions. We are looking forward to taking care of people
and hopefully we can make a lot of people feel better. So as a manager of it, it becomes on our role
to be able to take it to the places to do the work that we really think it has potential
of doing. We do have great partners. It’s been fun to see how that’s come together. Just the willingness of our community. It’s so obvious that the leadership of our
community, starting at the mayor’s office, really says we care about the community. What we get a lot of times is a generally
need of all things, but dental is the hardest for us to place. If it’s a medical issue, we have the emergency
room that is close by, we have our other healthcare partners, but dental is something that we
have always had a hole and this will fill that, I think. We’re looking forward to just getting it
going and getting it started and really the messaging is the most important, people need
to know that this service is now available in our community. We are going to hit the road in June, we already
have three confirmed dates of places that we are going. There’s a short screening process to identify
the need and we can’t wait to bring this opportunity to the people of New Albany.

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